Climate change castaways?

posted at 4:45 pm on January 7, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

Mohamed Nasheed, president of the Maldives, is sick and tired of you people and your huge carbon footprints and he wants you to know it. In fact, so worried is their leader about climate change causing the seas to rise and swallow up his islands, he’s saving up his money to move his entire population to Australia.

THE President of what could be the first country in the world lost to climate change has urged Australia to prepare for a mass wave of climate refugees seeking a new place to live.

The Maldivian President, Mohamed Nasheed, said his government was considering Australia as a possible new home if the tiny archipelago disappears beneath rising seas.

”It is increasingly becoming difficult to sustain the islands, in the natural manner that these islands have been,” he told the Herald in an interview in Male, the Maldives capital…

The country has established a sovereign wealth fund, drawn from its tourist revenue, to be used to buy land overseas and finance the relocation of the country’s population of 350,000.

Australia, for its climate and abundance of space, along with Sri Lanka and India, for their proximity and cultural similarities, are the three countries the President has identified as possible destinations.

Sort of gives a whole new meaning to the idea of a “rainy day fund,” doesn’t it? But I suppose it pays to plan ahead, even though Nils-Axel Mörner, a sea-level expert from Sweden, sent President Nasheed a letter some time ago telling him that the sea levels weren’t actually rising.

October 20, 2009
To: President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives
From: Nils-Axel Mörner, Stockholm, Sweden

Mr. President,

You have recently held an undersea Cabinet meeting to raise awareness of the idea that global sea level is rising and hence threatens to drown the Maldives. This proposition is not founded in observational facts and true scientific judgments.

Therefore, I am most surprised at your action and must protest its intended message…

Let me summarize a few facts.

(1) In the last 2000 years, sea level has oscillated with 5 peaks reaching 0.6 to 1.2 m above the present sea level.
(2) From 1790 to 1970 sea level was about 20 cm higher than today
(3) In the 1970s, sea level fell by about 20 cm to its present level
(4) Sea level has remained stable for the last 30 years, implying that there are no traces of any alarming on-going sea level rise.

The Maldives actually are disappearing, for what it’s worth. But as Fausta notes, some of the good people of the island nation may be mistaking beach erosion for rising sea levels. Beach erosion happens, and it’s a serious concern. Many sea-side communities in the United States have been spending millions of dollars fighting it ever since the bad old days when we were fighting anthropogenic global cooling. (I’m sorry… that was probably rude, wasn’t it?)

Oh… Fausta noted one other point as well. If the Maldives are in imminent danger of going all Water World on us, why are they building a new airport?

Tim Blair points out that Nasheed Then … attended a ceremony to mark the construction of a new airport.

New airport? When the country’s supposedly going to be swallowed by the waves at any moment?

If they actually do all pack up and leave, I wonder what it would cost to buy the place lock, stock and floating barrels? I understand they’ve got some of the best scuba diving in the world.

Breaking on Hot Air